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January 6, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit concludes a chapel series on Evangelism from Mark 16:15.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. Tradition continues with fervent little preaching from the University Chapel platform today work, including a three part series on evangelism today speaker is Dr. Steve Pettit, who for over 29 years was an evangelist and now as president of Bob Jones University.
The title of his message is what is evangelism lower to first of all publicly express my gratitude, especially for the last couple days of the ministry of Dave Doran, Junior, who is a church planter in the Detroit area and he and his wife came down and I was I was truly blessed by his messages by the way he handled the Scripture by the way, he effectively communicated to you and I know he communicated in a way that I could never communicate.
I just don't use phrases like God. Amazon's you blessings of thinking cool man I need her need to remember that when I write it down if I said anything cool is because I stole it from somebody else and wrote it down and so I was really a blessing and it was I think I think you you were touched by what he had to say so I just want to publicly acknowledge that then I'd like to really try to close out this week as we have been focusing our attention really on what started last week with the passion of Christ, the resurrection of Christ and then this week, our duty and responsibility as a Christian to share the gospel.
There are a few things in the Christian life that are absolutely essential for us to do that are actually very hard for us to do consistently those things include the following number one just daily time with God, whether you call it devotions or quiet time, or God, and I time her Bible reading and prayer, but to do it every single day is hard. Secondly is actually to share the gospel.
That is to just be constantly thinking about getting the message out. Really, my life is a light shining in the spreading the gospel to them. Those are for. That's hard to do. The third thing actually is being consistent in tithing to the local church and giving consistently in the thing that is important to realize what makes us things hard is it nobody forces you to do that. You're not under constraint to be read your Bible you not under constraint to witness you really not under constraint to give all of it is out of a life that is committed to the Lord so so those are things that we need to constantly emphasize in our life. We need to be living these things out. So what I'd like to do today is just be very simple would be very basic with challenging all of us and I say challenging us not like I'm the expert in your the learner but really all of us as participators and what is most important, and that is the matter of sharing the gospel. So today my message is really quite simple and that is what is evangelism because it's like these, like you need to talk about it all the time is not like we don't know what it is but we need to have a constantly reemphasized in her life might begin by saying that this that every body was receive the grace of God in salvation has done so because you were evangelized. Somebody told you the good news.
It could've been your mother and father. It could've been a Sunday school teacher could've been a pastor or youth pastor.
It could've been in the camp. You heard an evangelist preaching. You heard the gospel but somebody in your life and you probably remember that person who it was. I remember the first time I heard the gospel. I was a 17-year-old public high school teenager junior high school and a friend of mine.
He and I played on the football team's name was Bill Canales going wild Bill because he was that he was, he really was pretty crazy. We been buddy since the fourth grade and he was he was that he was a drinker he was he was a hell raiser. That's what we call and so he got saved in his life was transformed. He went from the beer bottle to the Bible study like three week one day after school. We were sitting there talking and I said Bill you got religious what happened and he told me got saved in for the first time in my life I had somebody clearly explained to me what it means to be saved and then he asked me if I wanted to become a Christian. I was evangelized at the age of 17 I didn't get saved. Fact is, I remember walking home that day and my walk home was about three or four blocks from school and I remember walking home scared to death that I get hit by a car be in Don district Dale, but I was evangelized. Everyone of us have ever been saved have been evangelized. So what is evangelism is the God ordained means of bringing salvation to all men. God doesn't use Angels to spread his message. God uses people who experience grace because you know why we can tell the gospel because we can tell it all fit.
We can tell from our life. It's our life that speaks but it's our like speaking the gospel and so what then is evangelism and let me break it down to three simple points is because these are very basic but very important things we need to keep in mind number one evangelism is the preeminent work of all believers. It is the preeminent work when I say preeminent work when I'm talking about working on not talking about seeking to glorify God were talking about motivation. I'm talking about what you do as a Christian, and the most preeminent work of the believer is the work of evangelization. Think about it after Jesus resurrected from the dead.
He met with his disciples from the time he rose from the dead to the time he ascended into heaven, how many days was it 40 days exactly so from the resurrection to the ascension.
It was 40 days think that that's like a little over six weeks arrived at six weeks and so and that 40 day. Jesus met with his disciples.
Now when you only got 40 days to tell people things you don't want to tell him 20 things to do. God works by the kiss principle KISS unit means keep it simple, not stupid. God doesn't cause people stupid sayings.
Keep it simple. Sayings and God gave his disciples. One simple command and that command was repeated in every single gospel listen to what the what the gospel say Mark 1615 Jesus said, go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Matthew 28 verse 18 and 19. He said, go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Ghost. Luke chapter 24 verse 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things and then we come to the book of acts chapter 1 and he says, but you shall receive power, verse eight. After the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and all today and in all Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. So what is he saying he's giving one basic command.
It's not complicated.
Keep it simple. Sayings that we are to go in the world and we are to spread the gospel that is in our world that is our job so let me say this way as an implication. If you're not involved in spreading the gospel.
You really not technically doing the work of God. I'm not saying you're not doing good things.
I'm not saying you can't be a church secretary I'm not saying you can't work in a camp. I'm not saying you can't teach in a Christian school, and all of those things were doing for the glory of God and I get all that if we look in the Bible and what it says. What is the preeminent work of the believer. What's the one command. Jesus gave his disciples, and it's the one command that they definitely obey. And that is after Jesus's ascension in the heaven. They went back to the city of Jerusalem and they waited there for 10 days. The power of the spirit of God came and you can't help but reading the book of acts.
The exciting work of what happens when God's people obey because when you obey God, and you spread the gospel. You begin to see the power the Holy Spirit at work you want to see the power the Holy Spirit at work. Open your mouth. Start talking about Jesus and you will see God miraculously at people working in people's lives. All you have to do is just start talking about it and things start happening. How many times have you ever share the gospel with somebody.
And when you are done, you felt like God actually put you there to talk to that person and you felt you were in the middle of the work of God, because God's preeminent work is the spreading of the gospel message. So if were going to do God's work this summer.
That's what we need to do and then secondly, what is evangelism. It's not only the preeminent work of all believers, but number two is the personal witness of every believer you see the word evangelized the word evangelists in the word gospel all come from the same root word. The Greek word is you uncle S you meaning good bungalows, meaning messenger our news so we call the gospel essentially good news.
So what does it mean to evangelize it means to tell the good news. It simply means that tell the story is not a story that we have to manipulate is not a complicated story fact is actually is quite simple.
It means to tell the story the gospel means the good news that were to tell. So when we evangelize we tell the gospel, the good news and we spread that out. The word evangelists means the announcer of the good news. So in first Corinthians 15 verse one it says. Moreover brethren I declare unto you the gospel which I preached Paul use the same word gospel and preached when he read it this way, I made unto known to you the good news which I good news. Do unto you. I I've made known to you the advantage, all which I've evangelize to you. So quite simply to evangelize is to do what the word means. It means to tell people good news we have a fat gentleman that works for us here, Dr. Mr. John Matthews. He's our vice president for advancement of people often ask me what you like best about Bob Jones always say students and then my second one is always people give money and that's actually really really fun so I sat with a man recently and he told me he's going to get Bob Jones $1 million. Now that's I like eating lunch with you but I think that when wins over lease for a little while. And whenever whenever we get a special gift. John always comes and tells me so.
Beginning this week. Monday we got a chat from an estate that came to us about dear precious lady and she left the hundred and $51,000 to Bob Jones University. You know what we actually get excited about. So he called sometimes will say save and then I'll go down the hall because I know is good. Tell me he said I think we need to praise the Lord he's got the biggest cheesy green and you ever seen a bingo grin breaks over space and he said yeah I said how much is 150, $121,000. He said let's give thanks to God. I love that to me is like good news. What is good news. Don't you like to get good news. Can't you wait to get your report card next week. If your senior can't you wait to hear the good news that you're actually your actually really got a graduate how many of you have ever had nightmares that you didn't graduate. If I ever have those nightmares I mean is I mean you know it's really getting bad when you're having nightmares in the nightmare.
The story is that you didn't finish two classes and you gotta come back next semester. I mean, I have those nightmares from college for like 10 years but the good news. The good news is that you're going to graduate. That's good news. What is the gospel it's good news.
And what are we to do, where to tell the good news. The New Testament presents different words that describe the duty of telling the good news. For example, one of those words is that we are called to be stewards.
What is a steward is somebody has been entrusted with the message. Therefore, we have a responsibility we been given information and were to go tell think about it. If a doctor knows the cure for cancer or any know somebody has cancer and he doesn't tell them the good news that they can be cured. What kind of doctor is that what kind of steward are we when we know that this person could be saved from eternal judgment and hell and we don't for whatever reason whatever excuse tell them that we are a steward.
Secondly, where I herald what is a Harold Harold is somebody who makes a public announcement and he is one who comes in his responsibility is to dilute deliver the message exactly as it was given not to add not to alter or not to admit anything as a Harold, we are accurate in telling of the good news. That's what we're to be doing tell the people good news and the third word ambassador like Nikki Haley in the as a UN ambassador. We represent the leader, we represent a king and therefore we do speak with authority in telling the good news were to be responsible. We are be to be accurate and we are to be authoritative. We can, with this message and tell people the gospel of Jesus Christ number of years ago I had the privilege of spending almost all of them. A little over a month in the country of Kenya Africa. I was with evangelist Tom Farrell. Many of you know Tom and we were invited to go into a village where we had actually hike into the village after a long ride and it was a village of of my side warrior. I mean, these were scary looking dudes.
They were the coming then the loincloths in the spears and the whole 9 yards. So we went into this village that never had a white man in the village, we were the first white people that ever seen as so we got in this village and they wanted to have actually wanted a missionary to come speak to them so we gather them together with all the men sat in the one tree and all the women, children, status set another tree and for about an hour to an hour and 1/2. We preach the gospel to them.
We actually preached in English they translated it into Swahili and then Lisa translated it into my side, and we started in Genesis chapters 1 to 3 and then we came to Genesis 3 how God created the world how man fell in the sand.
But God made a promise is Genesis 3 and then went to John chapter and at the end of that time of communicating to them the gospel, an invitation was given in eight adult men accepted Jesus as their Savior and it was one of the most exciting experiences that we've ever had and we felt like we were ambassadors arriving into a village had never heard about the king and they open their heart and receive the king into our lives. This is what Bible evangelism is all about for the sake of clarity. However, we need to be clear what evangelism is not it's not.
For example, imposing our religious views on another person. People equate evangelism with this idea. Somehow that I'm imposing my religion on another person, but that's only if Christianity is subjectively true, but what Christianity is, is it's not a subjective philosophy about life, but rather it is stating that historical events of what Christ did to be a witness means something happen is to tell the truth in the court of law and what we are doing is where telling the objective reality that a man named Jesus came into this world. He was born of a virgin. He lived a sinless life, he was crucified on a cross and he resurrected from the dead, and he came to be our Savior from sin, so we have to understand that this is not just giving somehow a religious opinion. And secondly not let me say that it is not us who were saving people. We are witnesses we are not Savior. I think it has to be clear to us that unless God works in people's hearts. Even the message itself will change people's lives. Sometimes I think we have a tendency today to try to help the gospel so that we do things to to somehow soften the message that is not really that strong but folks when you are sick, you want the strongest medicine you can get to get the sickness that the only cure for the sin sick soul is the bloodiest sacrificial death of Jesus and that belied alone can wash your sins away and so it's the declaration of the message and the Lord does the saving work. We cannot nationalize and we cannot legalize Christianity. It is the supernatural work of grace within the human heart and then let me say number three that evangelism is not doing so is not just doing social work I greatly and I mean this seriously.
I greatly appreciate the efforts of what were trying to do in our community effort here and are beyond our work here and all that is very important.
It is especially important for a a university to do that for the community but I do want to be clear that that in itself is not gospel preaching gospel preaching is the declaration of the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
People have problems in society that are horizontal in the sense that we are we have struggles with in our own culture, but the answer to all of man's problems ultimately is our vertical relationship with the Lord, the greatest need of people is to believe the gospel, and repent of their sins, and then let me say number four. This is not just being involved in apologetics. People often assume that defending the faith by answering questions in the objections of skeptics is sufficient for people to be safe and if a skeptic is looking for truth, then oftentimes that's where apologetics come in which you can convince people in the head but not convert them in the heart. God's gotta change the heart.
God's got to do supernatural work of grace in their souls. So as we finish than what is evangelism and let me say this evangelism is telling people the good news and in evangelism is the persuasive winning of the unbeliever involved in evangelism. I'm trying to persuade people to trust the gospel.
Think about it embedded in the gospel message is a clear intent is to see the hearer converted it is not simply imparting truth to them, but is trying to persuade them to hear and believe the good news. I was saved over a period of time, but I heard the gospel on a number of occasions and when I did hear the gospel, the people that tried to share the gospel with me always tried to persuade me. My best friend in college fell in a maxi bird.
She's a professor at John Brown University, and Arkansas. He's a he's head of their graduate religious studies and he used to tell me all the time as we would walk back and forth from the soccer field for practice. He would say to me, Pettit Pettit, you need to get saved you need to get saved. That's a part of evangelism evangelism, not just telling them the message okay that's that's that's the first half, but in every game. There's a secondhand. The second half is you need to apply that because the Bible says you're actually in God's stead or in God's place as his M Amb. and you were trying to persuade people to come to Jesus Christ the word convert means to turn the preacher is the one is trying to convert the center. Listen to what John says of John the Baptist. Many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord. Listen to what it sets up all pieces. Paul is going to be sent to open the eyes of the blind and to turn them from darkness to light and when Paul preached he called people to repent and turn to God. We are called to be fishers of men. Whenever you go fishing you have an intention what is the intention.
It's not the feed fish. It's to catch fish and that is exactly what were doing. Our intention is to win people to Jesus Christ. Listen to what Paul said in first Corinthians 9. Verse 19 I love these verses. He says for the lobby from all free from all men yet. I've made myself sermon on the all that I might gain the more the word gain means to win and undo the Jews.
I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews to them that are under the law is under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law to them that are without laws, without law, that I might gain them there without law to the week became eyes week that I might gain the week. I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means saying so we used to use a term a lot is called soul winning we were going to go soul winning and somehow people have a tendency to you know take issue with words and they would go when you're not really winning souls God wins the soul, but actually if you go to be really accurate. It's actually both of us are involved. Obviously God has to do the work but he does the work through the evangelization and so actually God has given us the wonderful privilege of winning souls to Jesus Christ. I hope the summer that the Lord will give you the privilege and I hope every one of you will have this privilege of winning somebody to Christ. How many of you would love to win somebody to the Lord the summer, would you raise your hand.
I would love to do that.
It is so it is in his life's greatest blessing to be the one that God uses to win souls. I want to close by reading your card I got this yesterday from a student is graduating next week. I love to read it. I came here as an unsafe freshman sometimes feeling proud that I didn't need God and that over the years I developed a coldness and indifference towards my obvious need for salvation. I was convinced that BJ you couldn't change anything about that either. And that God could never break me but then during the first evangelistic service you held. It was so clear to me that I needed to get saved. I remember sitting in my chapel seat literally fighting God and telling him to ask me again in a year. I walked out of that service, unsafe, terrified that God given up on me but by now but still arrogant enough to feel like I didn't need and then during the second service. All the thoughts from the previous night that I had that I've been able to push away during the day came rushing over me again. It was that night after another fight between stubborn me and my ever loving God.
After many tears that I was able to get saved by his grace and this person is graduating, Lord willing.
Next week, to me that's awesome. That's the privilege God is given all of us. It didn't take great talent. It doesn't take great argumentative skills it takes a loving heart is willing to tell a clear story to a person that is in great need and you really care and God will use you to do his work and honors name. May God give us the grace to do that this summer. Father, thank you for your word.
Thank you for the grace of God that saves us from our sins in Jesus name, amen. Today's speaker was Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University. You know, these daily programs are made possible by the many friends of Bob Jones University and this radio ministry if you appreciate these programs and benefit from the faithful preaching and teaching of God's word would you consider sending us a special financial gift today. You can easily do that through the website. The Daily Platform.com and then click on the give button on the homepage.
I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Thank you for listening to The Daily Platform. If you're looking for a regionally accredited Christian liberal arts university. I invite you to visit our campus and see how God is working in the lives of our students. For more information about Bob Jones University, visit www.bjyou.edu or call 800-252-6363. We hope you'll join us again next week as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform